When I was in Amsterdam last November I visited the van Gogh Museum and posted some of my impressions. Almost as impressive as van Gogh’s paintings were his letters on display, most of them written to his brother Theo. They show a deeply learned man, versed not only in the history of his craft but in literature as well.
In this week’s New York Review of Books, Richard Dorment, art critic of The Daily Telegraph, has a terrific review (free online) of two books about those letters. If you’re interested in the man and his art, have a look at this piece, which dispels several myths about van Gogh.
Here’s one of Vincent’s letters to Theo, showing how he used them to work out the ideas for many of his paintings: